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Sarah Corbett-Winder of Kipper

How Sarah Corbett-Winder Created Kipper

With a passion for tailoring, a flare for playful dressing and a focus on British creators: find out how Kipper came to life
By: Harriet Brown

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By: Harriet Brown
How Sarah Corbett-Winder Created Kipper

How Sarah Corbett-Winder Created Kipper

With a passion for tailoring, a flare for playful dressing and a focus on British creators: find out how Kipper came to life

By: Harriet Brown

When stylist and content creator Sarah Corbett-Winder created her women’s tailoring brand Kipper in 2023, she had a simple mission in mind: empower women through tailoring. But Corbett-Winder’s approach to tailoring is anything but austere, and since launch the brand’s playful, colourful yet precisely tailored creations have garnered something of a cult following among London’s well-dressed sets.

As Kipper launches into Liberty, and debuts an exclusive, whimsical suit in an archival Liberty print, we sat down with Sarah Corbett-Winder to dive into the story behind the brand – including the unexpectedly empowering story behind its unique name…

The Making of Kipper

What’s the story behind Kipper – how would you describe the ethos?
I started Kipper because I really believe that every woman should have a great suit in her wardrobe. A suit is a forever piece that will never go out of fashion. I wanted to create a suit that would allow women to feel empowered. I wanted to create Kipper power - when you look fab, and you feel fab, and you really can take on the world. I wanted to serve all of this with a large side of fun.

Tell us a little about the brand name – why Kipper?
‘Kipper’ is an old name for a female tailor. Kippers are always sold in pairs and, back in the day, ‘Kipper’ travelled in said pairs to avoid unwelcome advances from randy male tailors. I mean it would have been rude not to call it Kipper, wouldn’t it?!

Sarah Corbett Winder in the Chips suit

Describe the brand in an elevator pitch…
Kipper aims to empower women through wearing classic yet playful, tailored suits; encouraging them to embrace its contradictions – full of whimsy and fun, equally at home at a glamorous party as it is in the fishmongers.

What do you love most about tailoring?
The way it makes one feel, I love the empowerment that you feel through tailoring. My favourite time to wear a suit is on a Monday morning, or in the supermarket.

Kipper focuses on British mills and manufacturing – why is that something that’s important to you?
I really want to be able to support British businesses. I am all about building relationships with my suppliers, which I feel one can do more easily when they’re close to home. We do all of our manufacturing in London, which means we can be very hands on with production. Nothing slips through our net! I have been so impressed by the quality of fabrics from the British mills we source from, and I love that it doesn’t have to travel hundreds of miles to get to us. At the end of the day, I am proud to be British.

How did your background as a stylist influence you when creating Kipper?
Hugely, I as I live, sleep and breathe clothes, I felt that I was able to make a great judgement on what would make a great suit. I have done lots of personal shopping and wardrobe visits, so I really understand the psychology behind getting dressed. It made me so sad to learn that so many women feared getting dressed. I wanted to bring the fun back!

What does success look like to you?
Seeing lots of women feeling confident and looking great in Kipper suits.

What’s your biggest distraction?
Shopping, shopping and shopping.

The Electric

How would you describe your own personal aesthetic?
Classic, earthy, stripey, tonal with a large side of “don't take yourself too seriously”.

When are you at your most creative?
At our kitchen table while having supper and brainstorming ideas with my husband, or in a very, very hot bath.

Sarah Corbett-Winder in the exclusive Liberty print suit

What are your three best tips for creativity?
1. Be YOU – no one else can be.
2. Be brave and push yourself.
3. Have time out. It’s taken me a while to properly believe this, but time “out” means the time you're “in”, is so much better. Trust me, it works.
4. (Can I have 4? sorry I am always pushing things!) LAUGH - it's the best tonic and brings out best in you and thus you’ll be more creative.

Do you have a favourite piece or style from the collection that means a lot to you?
It has to be the silky Honeycomb three-piece suit;I had a chocolate dalmatian when I was younger, and the design of this Kipper silk was truly inspired by her. If I’m allowed two – then also Candy – I took a very, very long time to get this to this stripe. Definitely a long labour of love. It just shows – don't give up! Where there’s a will there’s a way.

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